Entheotropia, an introduction

I have just finished cycling from Canberra to Brisbane over the last month and a half or so, and something I’ve been looking forward to that whole time is getting to somewhere I can spend some time developing the new ideas that have been coming my way as I continue the journey toward Understanding.

Toward the end of the trip I had begun to feel full, loaded up with enough new ideas that if I continued just cycling around reading books and thinking all day, I might explode with frustration instead of imploding with realisation. This blog is a place where I will allow some of those new ideas and their implications to unfold into untold realisations.

I have the title Entheotropia because researching the meaning of ‘entheogen’ on this trip was perhaps the most illuminating cornerstone of my investigations at this time. Talking to a guy I met at Mendooran, I used the word ‘entheogens’ to refer to drugs used in shamanic rituals around the world, but when he asked me what an entheogen was, I couldn’t tell him what the word actually means. So I eventually looked it up, and learned that it means ‘generating the divine within’. ‘Entheogen’ is a term used to describe certain drugs that have this function, replacing the words ‘hallucinogen’ and ‘psychedelic’ when the drugs are used with spiritual rather than purely recreational intentions in mind.

I’ve added the ‘tropic’ element because at the beginning of the trip I learned also that ‘tropic’ means ‘toward’, as in ‘holotropic’ and ‘psychotropic’, toward the whole or toward the psyche. So ‘entheotropic’, I have decided, means ‘toward the divine within’. I use ‘entheotropia’ in the same sense we might use ‘esoterica’ to denote myriad esoteric subjects. I was going to use ‘esotropia’, but that word already denotes an ophthalmological condition where the eye(s) point inward (being ‘cross-eyed’).

I use ‘entheogen’ to refer to anything that generates an experience of the divine within, whether it be a drug or a pranayamic practice or ecstatic dance. I think it was Dennis McKenna who said something to the effect that all life is a merely a series of chemical reactions. And the body is inherently capable of experiencing non-ordinary states of consciousness without the use of drugs ~ entheogenic drugs merely act upon the chemicals and receptors already existing in the body. On a previous cycle tour I learned from Robert Moss that there are two camps in the shamanic world: one that uses entheogenic plants as tools for spiritual awakening and healing, and one that doesn’t use plants, but which uses other means for achieving the same goals.

It’s a fascinating subject, and an even more fascinating experience.

So that’s a bit of a brain dump to get this ball rolling.

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